East London firm chosen to design 2012 Olympic and Paralympic torch
Monday, 28 February 2011
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February 28 - A firm based in East London, best known for their work with furniture, have been chosen to design the torch for next year's Olympics, which will be carried around the UK next year during a 70-day relay, it was announced today.
Designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby won a competitive tender launched last year by London 2012 and the Design Council to create the Torch, along with the celebration cauldrons to be used at the lunchtime stops and evening celebrations during the Olympic Torch Relay, which is due to start on May 18 when it arrives from Olympia in Greece.
The designers are also working on design aspects for the Paralympic Torch Relay that will take place between the close of the Olympic Games and the start of the Paralympic Games in August 2012.
The pair, who trade under the name BarberOsgerby, are based in Shoreditch in the London Borough of Hackney, less than four miles from the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, where the Torch Relay will conclude on evening of July 27, 2012, with the lighting of the Olympic cauldron to open the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Barber and Osgerby (pictured|) founded their eponymous studio in 1996 after graduating with Master’s degrees in Architecture from The Royal College of Art in London.
From their first studio in Trellick Tower in London, they designed their first piece, the Loop Table, produced by Isokon in 1997.
Specialising in furniture, their pieces are found in many permanent collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum and Design Museum in London.
They have wonn numerous awards for their designs but are now set for their most high-profile commission ever.
David Kester, the chief executive of the Design Council said: "Arguably this is one of the most visible design briefs in the world - literally billion of eyes will be on the Olympic Flame in 2012.
"I am delighted that Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby have won this commission and wish them well as standard bearers for UK design."
The Olympic Torch, which is expected to be unveiled in June 2011, will carry the Olympic Flame and take the 2012 Games to people’s doorsteps, showcasing the best of the UK.
Throughout its journey, which will be sponosred by Coca Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung, around the UK, the Olympic Torch Relay will visit different communities.
Sebastian Coe, the chairman of London 2012, said: "The Olympic Flame will literally shine a light on inspiring people, places and 2012 Games projects and programmes right across the UK as communities begin their Olympic celebrations with the Torch Relay.
"Ninety five per cent of the UK population will be within a one hour journey time of the Olympic Torch Relay and we are now developing the Torch which will be one of the key visual icons of the London Olympic Games."
August 2010: Search begins for firms to create Olympic and Paralympic 2012 Torches
May 2010: Coe wants Olympic Torch Relay to inspire Britain
May 2010: London 2012 release details of Olympic Torch Relay
March 2010: London 2012 appoints Freud to head PR team